BIOL368/F16:Class Journal Week 14

From OpenWetWare

Isai Lopez

  1. Were you aware of the Duke case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • Before viewing the video, I had never heard of the Duke research fraud case.
  2. What are your initial reactions to hearing the case?
    • I was incredibly upset about the nature of the fraud presented in the video. Falsifying data is an appalling enough transgression, but in a setting where people's lives are at risk a drug is being tested to treat them, the fraud implies criminal intent in this case.
  3. What role did data sharing play in uncovering the fraud?
    • When the entirety of the data from Dr. Potti was analyzed, many points seemed to appear erroneous and possibly falsified. The data files were sent to various individuals and organizations, including Kevin Coomes and Keith Baggerly, the National Cancer Institute, and Dr. Nevins. Through the sharing of the data among many bodies, the manipulation was uncovered.
  4. What additional information would you like to know about the Duke case in particular?
    • What changes has Duke made to its screening process since this case that will ensure going forward that it will not occur again?
  5. Please feel free to respond or comment on your classmates' reflections.

Colin Wikholm

  1. Were you aware of the Duke case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • I was not aware of this fraud before watching the video.
  2. What are your initial reactions to hearing the case?
    • I was appalled and surprised when I heard about this case. Not only could I not believe that Potti got away with the deception for so long, but that he did it in the first place! I would think that cancer researchers would care most about the wellbeing of humans and cancer patients, not about fame or money. He clearly did not put human life first.
  3. What role did data sharing play in uncovering the fraud?
    • Dr. Potti decoded many tumor compositions and stored it as enormous amounts of data in computer files. When the data was analyzed, it was discovered that the data had some oddities. However, Baggerdy and Coombes kept discovering “errors” in the data, and proposed that Potti might have been fabricating data that could lead to harmful treatment of cancer. Potti and his advisor disagreed, but individuals at the National Cancer Institute also found too many errors. And specialized investigation actually showed that Dr. Potti was correct. Paul Goldberg, a newsletter editor, looked up Potti’s resume and discovered that the Rhodes Scholarship identification was misleading. Finally Potti’s advisor’s review of the data showed that it was fabricated. Ultimately, sharing and storing of of bioinformatic and online information showed the truth of the fraud.
  4. What additional information would you like to know about the Duke case in particular?
    • I would want to know what the specialized investigation consisted of. If it took 3 months to perform the review by professionals, how could they have not seen Potti’s fabrication? This seems suspicious to me, regardless of preparation by Potti. Also, how could Duke legally get away with the event simply because they didn’t advertise the research as “standard care” treatments?
  5. Please feel free to respond or comment on your classmates' reflections.
    • I definitely agree with Zach Goldstein! How could such groundbreaking research not be more seriously and thoroughly analyzed? I also have the same questions as Courtney Merriam. Specifically, what kind of punishments specifically did Dr. Potti face for his fraud? Furthermore, how is he not being charged with at least manslaughter?

Colin Wikholm 02:33, 6 December 2016 (EST)

Matthew K. Oki

  1. Were you aware of the Duke case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • I was not aware of the Duke case of research fraud.
  2. What are your initial reactions to hearing the case?
    • I think it is shocking that someone would knowingly falsify this data. The monetary gain is simply not enough to even consider falsifying this data to this extent. He knowingly flipped the proven data on its head in order to get a bigger gain for himself. The fact that he is still practicing somewhere is incredible to me. He should have been stripped of his credentials immediately.
  3. What role did data sharing play in uncovering the fraud?
    • The decoded identity of tumors was stored in massive files, which were sent out when the data was published in journal articles. This data was the only thing that allowed Dr. Potti to get caught. It was up to the review of those two scientist that saved many more lives than were lost.
  4. What additional information would you like to know about the Duke case in particular?
    • I would like to know what has happened with this more recently. I would also like to find out more about the other families who were involved with this study. I want to see their reaction to this as well. I don't think one husband can do the rest of those hundreds of patients justice.
  5. Please feel free to respond or comment on your classmates' reflections.
    • I agree with the notions that [User:William P. Fuchs]] put forward about the doctor losing his credentials and being jailed. This is an important area that I think was neglected about this study.

Will Fuchs

  1. Were you aware of the Duke case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • Yes, my father sent me an email regarding it.
  2. What are your initial reactions to hearing the case?
    • First and foremost its dishonesty geared for personal gain. The irreverent approach to science and the implicit good faith the public places in scientists has been violated. That is so disheartening to hear as a hopeful scientist. That type of dishonorable conduct such be met with harsh punishment. In the case of research, if you don't find anything, or if there is evidence to the contrary to your theory there's no fallout. However if you knowingly forge data people may attempt to use the false findings in future studies which has numerous consequences. Such a shame.
  3. What role did data sharing play in uncovering the fraud?
    • One of the strong merits of using high traffic data sharing methods provides the room for criticism and necessary skepticism provided by the relevant communities. Those people can repeat the study if something seems incorrect or misleading in order to verify the validity of the original presentation.
  4. What additional information would you like to know about the Duke case in particular?
    • What was the nature of the falsified data? Where are the proportionate consequences for Dr. Potti? He should have his doctorate taken and put in prison. That may seem harsh but if we don't crack down on dishonesty why should the public trust us.

Avery Vernon-Moore

  1. Were you aware of the Duke case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • No, I have never heard of it before.
  2. What are your initial reactions to hearing the case?
    • I think that that is awful that someone would be willing to sacrifice the well being of so many other people who are already suffering so much more than he is just to benefit himself and make money. Of course his initial response was to help people and anyone would want their data to support that, but that is not something you should be trying to make work for your own benefit. I also don't understand how he was still able to continue working as a doctor, especially still continue working with cancer research and how anybody would have any respect for him or allow him to be their doctor or colleague.
  3. What role did data sharing play in uncovering the fraud?
    • The two men who were experts in that type of programming decided to review his data and found many "errors" in the data, eventually it was made clear that Dr. Potti had changed the data wherever it didn't support his theory.
  4. What additional information would you like to know about the Duke case in particular?
    • I was intrigued that they kept saying they were finding errors in the data, how were they analyzing it? I want to know why Dr. Potti wasn't sued or reprimanded. It is also interesting that this whole case wasn't made more public.

Avery Vernon-Moore 20:16, 4 December 2016 (EST)

Matthew Allegretti

  • Were you aware of the Duke case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • I was not aware of the Duke research fraud case until I saw this video.
  • What are your initial reactions to hearing the case?
    • I was concerned that the doctor involved was still able to practice as if nothing had happened. He clearly was dishonest on multiple occasions and the fact that more patients could be affected by his lack of ethical behavior is a problem.
  • What role did data sharing play in uncovering the fraud?
    • Because the data was available to other scientists, outside sources could verify the accuracy of the research. Because another group analyzed the data separately and came to different conclusions, they were able to bring attention to the falsehood of the information presented.
  • What additional information would you like to know about the Duke case in particular?
    • Were there any consequences for the University or the other doctor who was involved? Despite the fact that he continues to practice, what were the consequences for Dr. Potti? Also, what parts of the data were manipulated? How would data manipulation be obvious for an outside viewer?

Matthew R Allegretti 20:09, 4 December 2016 (EST)

Zach Goldstein

  1. Were you aware of the Duke case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • No I had never head of it before
  2. What are your initial reactions to hearing the case?
    • My initial reaction is that I am astounded something like this could have ever happened. In places of elite education and research it is hard to understand how manipulation of data is overlooked. It is especially hard to believe that there are people out there who are willing to falsify data and give false hope to people who are desperately looking for an answer.
  3. What role did data sharing play in uncovering the fraud?
    • If the preliminary data was not shared there would have been no source of external reviewing, and this case may not have ever been uncovered. It shows the importance data sharing has on keeping people honest in the world of science.
  4. What additional information would you like to know about the Duke case in particular?
    • I'm curious to know why there weren't previously research verification methods at Duke. I would expect, if someone finds groundbreaking results that they are immediately heavily analyzed by outside sources. The clip says the head of clinical research has now implemented such methods, but I would like to know what that new process involves. I'm also wondering where Potti is now and what this scandal has done to his career as a scientist.

Zachary T. Goldstein 19:55, 4 December 2016 (EST)Zachary T. Goldstein

Mia Huddleston

  1. Were you aware of the Duke case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • I was not aware of this case before watching this video.
  2. What are your initial reactions to hearing the case?
    • My initial reaction to this video was mostly surprise and sadness. I think that it is horrible that people were promised false hope for treatment. I was also surprised that it took so long for others to finally realize that the data was falsified and for the trial to be stopped.
  3. What role did data sharing play in uncovering the fraud?
    • Data sharing is the biggest way in which they were able to know that this data was fraudulent. Other scientists were able to look at all the data and share it when they realized something wasn't right. When multiple accredited scientists are claiming that this research is wrong, then there finally were actions taken place to look again at the research data.
  4. What additional information would you like to know about the Duke case in particular?
    • I'm still curious how Dr. Potti was able to publish this research in the first place and who was checking his research for credibility.

Mia Huddleston 14:55, 5 December 2016 (EST)

Courtney Merriam

  1. Were you aware of the Duke case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • No I wasn’t. Given my desire to enter into the field of medicine and the science of the human body, I should be more aware of stories like this one.
  2. What are your initial reactions to hearing the case?
    • It’s was surprising to me. Making a mistake in research is one thing, but to intentionally mislead such a large group of people seems so outrageous to me. I can understand the motivation for wanting to be acknowledged for making a scientific and medical breakthrough, but I can’t understand the lack of foresight involved. Obviously the truth would come out eventually, and the accolades and respect that accompanied the initial, false proclamation would fall away, exactly as happened.
  3. What role did data sharing play in uncovering the fraud?
    • The publishing of the initial research papers that supported the fraud allowed for other experts in the field to cross check the information, findings, and conclusions made by Dr. Potti. This enabled those experts to find that there were significant differences in the data and conclusions they found as compared to that conveyed in Dr. Potti’s journals. The necessity for scientific discoveries and bounds to be cross checked and analyzed multiple times is what allows for the scientific method to be such a rigid and effective way of coming to new insights and correcting old mistakes.
  4. What additional information would you like to know about the Duke case in particular?
    • I would like to know the repercussions that Dr. Potti faced, professional and conscience oriented, for intentionally producing false information that damaged not only the reputation of the university he was working at, but final years of so many hopeful cancer patients who felt that his work was their final opportunity. I also would like to know what implementations universities other than Duke have included in the wake of such a drastic fiasco.

Courtney L. Merriam 20:30, 5 December 2016 (EST)

Anindita Varshneya

  1. Were you aware of the Duke case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • I was aware of the Duke case because I'd seen this video before in previous classes.
  2. What are your initial reactions to hearing the case?
    • My initial reaction to hearing this case was incredibly disbelief. It is so unfortunate and not acceptable that the data Dr. Potti presented in his paper was not verified by several high profile medical journals prior to publication, and it was even more disappointing that his data was approved by Duke after "review" from an outside review committee at a later time. I was under the impression for a very long time that before any data can be published in a scientific journal, the data and analysis would have to be carefully verified. It is incredibly disappointing to know this is not true. I am also incredibly upset in defense of the patients who entered the clinical trial because they were unable to make informed decisions since the medical staff did not tell them about the concerns with Dr. Potti's work.
  3. What role did data sharing play in uncovering the fraud?
    • Data sharing was essential to uncover the fraud in Dr. Potti's research. If the two other scientists were unable to access and analyze Dr. Potti's data and analysis methods, it is possible that the fraud that Dr. Potti committed could have gone by unnoticed. Because they were able to access Dr. Potti's data, they were able to attempt to reproduce the methods that Dr. Potti used, and discover inconsistencies.
  4. What additional information would you like to know about the Duke case in particular?
    • What process do scientific journals ask their peer reviewers to follow prior to accepting a paper for publication? Has the process changed at all over time as a result of more and more instances of published irreproducible research?

-Anindita Varshneya 20:10, 5 December 2016 (EST)

Jordan T. Detamore

  1. Were you aware of the Duke case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • No
  2. What are your initial reactions to hearing the case?
    • I was initially just very shocked that a person would fabricate facts that affects the health of people. Furthermore it was bewildering to me that it was so
  3. What role did data sharing play in uncovering the fraud?
    • The data was available for other scientists to analyze. When the experts got their hands on the false data they were able to find the faults and bring them to the public in so the study would be reviewed.
  4. What additional information would you like to know about the Duke case in particular?
    • Dr. Potti claims that he did not know that there was fabricated data, so how would he or anybody else explain that the blatant fabrication that was found.

Shivum Desai

  1. Were you aware of the Duke case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • I was aware of the scandal already, actually I learned about it last semester in Bioethics seminar.
  2. What are your initial reactions to hearing the case?
    • My initial reaction is simply pondering in disbelief that someone could risk and lie to people who have already had to endure so much, simply for the reason of money, not showing failure, and pride (most likely). Its pathetic that a person of such knowledge and status, a person that students and other researchers looked up to, could be such an underhanded person because he was to scared to fail.
  3. What role did data sharing play in uncovering the fraud?
    • Data sharing was extremely essential to uncovering the fraud of Dr. Potti. Had it not been for the other two researcher's ability to access Dr. Potti's data, his fraud might have gone unnoticed.
  4. What additional information would you like to know about the Duke case in particular?
    • I would like to know what consequences Dr. Potti faced after this scandal. I'm hoping that he has basically been outcast from the academic world (he deserves this at least). I would also like to how in the world Dr. Potti's research was peer reviewed before being published and still made it through the process.